Blaum Bros. Distilling, based in Galena, Illinois and founded by real-life brothers, has been producing craft spirits since 2013. In that short amount of time they’ve put together quite a portfolio, including vodka, gin, absinthe, and, of course, whiskey. We received the flagship product, Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon to put to the test.
We didn’t get any production information about aging or mashbill, but a little Internet sleuthing revealed reports that it’s actually four years old, made from a sweet (not sour) mash of 72% local corn, 23% local rye, and 5% barley.
Let’s give it a whirl.
While this is young stuff, it’s surprisingly enjoyable. Wood-forward but not overwhelmingly so, it’s got big secondary notes of cloves, ginger, and a hint of menthol to help cut through some of the barrel char. The palate is quite spice heavy, with cloves, ginger, vanilla, and chocolate notes all pushing past the wood to liven things up. There’s ample barrel char and a dusty wood chip character here too, but a little water helps things to settle into more of a spice-forward groove. The finish (at full strength) is hot but soothing, with gingerbread notes and a bold punch of bittersweet chocolate evident. All told, it’s quite fun and an overall solid showing for what is clearly an up-and-coming distillery.
B+ / $50 / blaumbros.com